Patriots gridiron news: With Hightower out, all eyes on David Harris


The New England Patriots defense took a blow Thursday when it was announced that linebacker Dont’a Hightower suffered a season-ending pectoral injury.

Just when the New England Patriots defense was finding their niche, the team suffered another blow with the loss of veteran linebacker Dont’a Hightower for the season.

As the one player on defense the team couldn’t afford to lose for any extended length of time, Hightower’s unavailability for the rest of the season obviously leaves the team thin at the linebacker position.  It also leaves them void of leadership in that group on the field.

Enter 33-yer-old David Harris.

While the team can still make other moves to fill Hightower’s position, the obvious player the Patriots could turn to is the 11th year veteran who hasn’t seen much time on the field so far this season.  However, he has been valuable to the team due his experience and knowledge of the game.  With Hightower’s loss, he may be asked to translate that to the field.

New England Patriots
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – OCTOBER 15: Quarterback Josh McCown /

"“You hate to lose a guy like that, but it’s on all of us to step up, myself included,’ Harris said, as transcribed by the Provident Journal.  “Injuries are part of the sport unfortunately.  It’s always next man up.”"

Unlike Hightower, Harris has been pretty durable though his NFL career.  Though age seems to be finally catching up with him, the tackling machine is out to prove he has something left in the tank.  Now that he appears to be comfortable in the defense, he will have a chance to make a contribution.

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Although any increase in playing time is clearly up to the coaching staff, David Harris professes that he feels good and will be ready when his number is called.  That may come as soon as Sunday against Phillip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers.

Patriots sign wide receiver Jake Kumerow

The New England Patriots announced Thursday that they have added a wide receiver depth to their practice squad.

According to the team, they have signed WR Jake Kumerow. The 25-year-old product out of Wisconsin-Whitewater spent the last two seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals.  At 6-foot-4, 210 pounds, he does add some size, but is another former undrafted free agent looking to find his way onto a 53-man roster.

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In joining the Patriots, he is in the right place to learn from players such as Danny Amendola, Chris Hogan and former seventh-round pick Julian Edelman.  To make room for Kumeow, the Patriots released defensive lineman Mike Purcell from the practice squad.

Amendola returns to practice

Speaking of Danny Amendola, the veteran wide receiver was reported to have a hyperextended knee on Thursday.  While that is the bad news, the good news is that he did return to the practice field after being absent on Wednesday.

Amendola has been upgraded to limited on the latest injury report and day-to-day as far as his status for Sunday’s game goes.

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Others listed as limited include CB Stephon Gilmore, DL Lawrence Guy, TE Jacob Hollister, DL Cassius Marsh and LB Elandon Roberts.  CB Eric Rowe, DT Malcom Brown and LB Dont’a Hightower were not participants at practice on Thursday.